Monday, 10 October 2011

How long before you start, just before?

Raul Torres

Professional sport has welcomed the youth is a tangible fact. Here stands Vettel, the new F1 world champion at age 24, a clear reflection of a sport that previously relied their cars to experienced pilots now believes more than ever in new talent. In the game happens something like this: if a player excels, age is not important at the time of grant gallons. Raul was a clear example, vital for Real Madrid since he was 18 years. So was Fernando Torres at Atletico. The problem is: it means that your legs get tired too soon?

It is in the 27/28 years age when a player reaches full power of his virtues, since the learning experience and talent attached. It is from the thirties when he begins a progressive decline in physical matters. Usually, however, was from twenty years ago when most players were beginning to be fixed in the alignments of their teams, and after seven or eight years to reach full maturity. Today things have changed and the players can play perfectly sixty games a season with only 18 years.

Since its debut in Zaragoza in 1994, Raúl became the reference of Madrid. Year after year exceeded its level and its records and seemed to have no ceiling. With 24 years had already won three Champions Leagues and in 2001 was the Silver Ball in a controversial decision. A year later signed a great performance at the World Cup in Korea and Japan. "And what is still ..." was the general opinion. However, at 27 years or so, when a player tends to reach its zenith, Raul began to decline. Even today, in the ranks of Schalke, continues to be a scorer and first time working for the team but has since lost that spark that made ​​him one of the best. At 24/25 years, Raul had reached its best.

Since it debuted in second with Atletico Madrid at the age of 17 years, Fernando Torres became the great hope rojiblanca, and soon became a fixture in the eleven. After six seasons as an emblem of the club, playing it all, Torres signed for Liverpool to find a breakthrough in his career. He was then 23 years, and in his first season at Anfield gave an extraordinary performance. That season was also the author of the goal that gave Spain the European Championships and was awarded the Bronze Ball, which very well could have been silver, but Messi went to after a campaign that did not win anything with the Barcelona

His first three seasons as a network were to frame a football and a team perfectly suited to its characteristics, until Abramovich decided to pay millions for wearing the shirt of Chelsea. Almost a year later, Torres showed barely anything at Stamford Bridge which made ​​him win at Anfield. At 27 years and after ten in the elite, is losing the freshness Torres as happened in their day to Raul?

It need not be a certainty the moment and the age at which a player reaches maturity and decline, but after so many years and many games in the legs, now more than ever, it is inevitable recession fitness. It also happened to other major European football that began very early to be important, as Kluivert and Del Piero. The latter, which currently has 36 years, also had a clear decrease in performance for some years, but his natural talent, higher than the others mentioned, has partially mitigated the physical letdown.

Today, football is more physical than ever, the number of parties and decreases the age at which it begins to be important, but also improve preparedness and recovery systems. All of this also will affect each player differently depending their characteristics and how they take care over his career. The defenders seem less affected, they tend to be the longest-lived, bypassing the gatekeepers. In any case, hopefully the drop in the performance of Fernando Torres meets a temporary situation and will soon again see the best version.

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Photo | Tsutomu Takasu

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